The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

North London landmark spoiled by Camden council: The Chalcots Estate up for bastardising renovation

We are shocked to learn that Camden Council has agreed to spoil an interesting 1960s estates. One of Swiss Cottage’s landmark housing developments, the Chalcots Estate, will lose its architectural quality through a crude renovation. The estate, consisting of four tower blocks and a number of low-rise buildings, currently impresses through elegantly proportioned facades. The approved scheme will spoil this quality that is unusual for an estate of that period. Chunky UPVC windows will replace the original thin metal frame windows of the tower blocks, and the finely detailed concrete strips running up the façades will be brutally covered up in aluminium.

The Society is disappointed that Camden will not designate this architecturally interesting estate a conservation area and grant it at least this minimal means of protection. The council’s decision to finance this atrocious renovation shows its lack of understanding and appreciation of post-war architecture. The Society would have liked to see a more sympathetic renovation.

For more information please contact
Cordula Zeidler, Caseworker, 020 7250 3857, Cordula.Zeidler(at)
Deidre Traynor, Camden , planning officer, tel 020 7974 5104
Edmund Bird, Camden , conservation officer, tel 020 7974 1944

Note for editors

The Chalcots Estate was built in 1965-70 to designs of Dennis Lennon and Partners. Drawings of the estate are held at the RIBA drawings collection which emphasises the buildings’ significance.